Democrats push for higher minimum wage, paid medical leave

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Malloy To Sign Minimum Wage Bill Thursday

HARTFORD — Some Democratic lawmakers are pushing to further increase Connecticut’s minimum wage and enact a paid family medical leave system.

Democratic Senate President Martin Looney said Thursday a “sufficient minimum wage” is important for thousands of families. Meanwhile, he says they shouldn’t “face the prospect of economic ruin” when forced to take unpaid time off to care for loved ones.

The two bills are working their way through the General Assembly.

Connecticut’s minimum wage recently rose to $10.10 an hour. Under this proposal, it would increase gradually to $15 an hour by January 2022.

Business groups have opposed a higher wage, arguing it could worsen the state’s unemployment rate.

A December report found at least 20 percent of Connecticut’s workforce, or at least 336,000 workers, earn less than $15 an hour.